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Dolcetto d'Alba

Dolcetto is traditionally an easy-to-drink, everyday wine. Sandrone's Dolcetto shows great plum and berry fruit, deep minerality and good, firm, ripe tannins.  It is more than a "sweet little one", however, as it has good structure, with bright acid and the ability to age easily for five years or more.
Sandrone Dolcetto d’Alba is produced using 100% Dolcetto grapes from different areas and vineyards. There are four grape production areas, two in Barolo and the others are divided equally between Novello and Monforte d’Alba; more specifically the vineyards in Barolo are called Rivassi and Crosia; in Monforte d’Alba, Castelletto; and Cascina Pe Mol and Ravera in Novello.  These areas are particularly suited for the production of Dolcetto d’Alba as the soil and the mesoclimates create a perfect environment in which the grapes can grow.  
Rivassi is a tiny vineyard hidden in the bowl of Le Coste di Barolo, just below the Monforte-Barolo road. Curiously, though it is planted to Dolcetto, it occupies a favored site and is surrounded by Nebbiolo plantings. The vineyard produces small berries of intense power and presence.  Crosia is on the north slope of the Cannubi hill and shares the geomorphology of the Cannubi vineyard. As it is on the west-northwest side of the hill, it is unsuitable for Nebbiolo, but Dolcetto excels here.  The crumbling farmhouse (cascina) of Pe Mol sits at the top of the ridge leading from Monforte d’Alba to the hamlet of Perno and is among the highest vineyards in the region. Because it sits at the top of the ridge, it is unsuitable for Nebbiolo, a fickle plant which abhors windy conditions. At the top of the ridge, Barbera thrives, and slightly down the slope are excellent plantings of Dolcetto. From this lofty perch one can see the Monte Bianco, the Monte Rosa and the Cervino on a clear day (Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn, respectively).  Ravera is a huge vineyard that extends between the communes of Barolo and Novello. The Sandrone section is in Novello, but close to the Barolo border, and as such the whitish marl is the prevalent soil in this part of the cru. The east exposure is well-suited to Dolcetto and the resulting wine adds perfume and aromatic complexity to the Dolcetto bottling.
Each vineyard is vinified separately, and after destemming and light crushing, the must is covered with CO2 for a gentle warm maceration of approximately a day.  Alcoholic fermentation begins about 24-36 hours later from native yeasts.  A gentle maceration takes place in upright open-top steel tanks for the first 5-6 days of alcoholic fermentation.  Immediately after alcoholic fermentation, which takes 14 days, malolactic fermentation takes place.  The wine is aged in stainless steel until the July following the harvest.  Around 2,500 cases are produced in a typical vintage.
   
Dolcetto d'Alba bottle